Release Date: August 3rd 2009.
Publisher: Text Publishing.
What would you do if you suddenly became a billionaire?
Gerald has just become the richest thirteen-year-old on the planet. The world’s most valuable diamond has been stolen, and it seems there has been a murder.
Now Gerald’s life is in danger.
He’s got a billionaire’s survival kit, a couple of new friends and a mystery to solve.
But who can he trust? What secrets lie waiting?
Will Gerald, Sam and Ruby discover the truth before it’s too late?
The Billionaire’s Curse was a delightful adventure mystery for upper middle grade. Newsome had an easy and entertaining writing style that I enjoyed, and I was able to devour this one quickly.
Gerald was flown, with his parents, to London from Australia when his billionaire Aunt Geraldine – who Gerald was named after – dies. He finds out that he is the sole benefactor to her fortune and now a billionaire himself, much to the upset of other family members who were looking to benefit from Geraldine’s passing.
Gerald is given an envelope from his aunt that he is to not open until after the funeral. When he opens it, it is a note from his aunt telling him that she thinks she has been murdered and she wants Gerald to find her murderer, because she fears Gerald’s life is also in danger.
All this has to do with a large, rare diamond that has been stolen from the museum. Gerald goes to the museum to investigate, gets a close call with the enemy and is rescued by twins Ruby and Sam, who join Gerald on his mystery solving mission.
The three become fast friends and get themselves into all sorts of trouble as they try and figure out who murdered Gerald’s aunt and what it all has to do with the diamond.
I really enjoyed the dynamic between Gerald and the twins, and the dynamic between the twins themselves. There was plenty of humour sprinkled throughout and the trio get themselves in a lot of tight spots that will have you holding your breath for them. The ending takes on a bit more of a serious tone and has a bit of (surprising) violence but nothing too over the top.
There were a few cons for me though. Gerald’s parents did not care for their son at all. They left him the first moment they could and zipped off to the other side of the world to spend their son’s new money. And even when he got injured they didn’t come back but sent him flowers. What was even more disturbing to me was Gerald’s reaction to his unloving parents. He wasn’t bothered that they weren’t around and brushed off their uncaring actions. I think he should have been angrier with them than he was.
Also, Gerald is being looked after by the butler, Mr Fry, who shows plain contempt for Gerald, even though it was his job and Gerald was his new master and had the power to fire him (which I don’t think Gerald realised).
Besides these few things, I actually really did enjoy this little mystery. I thought it was well imagined, very clever and funny, and was lead by a cast of a highly likeable trio. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this series. I recommend it for readers twelve and up who like a good mystery.
You can add it to your Goodreads HERE.